Tapestry of Faith: Principled Commitment: An Adult Program on Building Strong Relationships

Activity 3: What Don't We Know?

Activity time: 20 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Optional: Easel, newsprint, and marker

Description of Activity

Share these or similar words to focus the activity:

What allows us to be humble in spirit within our relationships? Each of you found the courage to get close to your partner after your first meeting, and you found the additional courage to commit to a long-term relationship. You may feel humbled when you think of all the reasons you might never have crossed paths. You were individuals, and yet you came together as a couple, an entity that is bigger than the sum of its parts. It's quite a matter of serendipity, isn't it? Many factors had to come together with a positive result.

Similarly, relating to your partner from a humble position requires many factors to be in place: the ability to give and accept feedback, to lose the posture of defensiveness, to focus on your partner, and to stay in the moment. Because of your love for each other, you can accept each other as human, fallible, struggling . . . and inherently good.

Invite participant discussion on the following questions. If desired, take notes on newsprint. If your group is larger than four or five couples, you may wish to split into two groups for discussion.

  • If humility involves acknowledging that we don't know it all, it is helpful to remember what we don't know about our partners and about ourselves. When have you been reminded of things you don't know about your partner? When has your relationship (or partner) showed you things you don't know about yourself?
  • In order to help our relationships fulfill their positive potential, what must we recognize about our own personal limits - of knowledge, of power, of ability?
  • What are some behaviors that get in the way of relating with humility?
  • How can we let our partners know when we find their behavior counterproductive?
  • What are some healthy and humble ways to give and receive difficult feedback?
  • How does the second Principle - affirming justice, equity, and compassion in human relations - speak to relating to one another with humility?